As plans move apace for Mash 2017celebrations, Westsiders Entertainment is planning one of the biggest fetes which will see patrons getting their grooves on for not one but three nights. The three exciting events will be spread across the country beginning on February 24 and culminating on February 26.Rick RamoutarSexy VanessaShakti StringsTeam MMRTerry GajrajThe event which is expected to coincide with all the other parties for Mash 2017 is titled “Red Square Fete” and will feature a long list of international, regional and local artistes. The list includes Trinidad chutney sensations, Adesh Samaroo, De Hunter, Rick Ramoutar and Sexy Vanessa; with Guyana’s own Terry Gajraj gracing the event with his presence.The local Guyanese cast will include Steven Ramphall, Aamir Khan, the Shakti String Orchestra and the Ishara Dancers. Also adding some vibes to the three-night affair will be the versatile duo, WR Reaz and Selector Andy from the Team MMR family.The first event is billed for February 24 in the parking lot of the Leonora Synthetic Track, on the West Coast of Demerara. The following night, partyholics will be entertained at the Lusignan Community Centre Ground, East Coast Demerara, and on February 26, the last show will be held at the Canje Ground, Rose Hall, Berbice.Tickets for the event cost $1000 in advance and more at the gate.Showtime for all of the shows is 19:00h but gates will be opened at 17:00h.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was herself the first Chairman of the Governance Commission, appointed by National Transition Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant in 2004. That alone set the stage for her sustained and resolute commitment to government reform, whose primary aim is to decentralize the government and bring it closer to the people.Following her election as President of Liberia in the 2005 elections, she resigned as Governance Commission Chair and was succeeded by Dr. Amos Sawyer.Dr. Sawyer was eminently qualified for that position. He is, to begin with, a student of history and a political scientist,a vocation that knows all about politics and government. In addition, he served, beginning in September 1990, as the Chairman of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU) during the civil war.The Commission, under Sawyer’s leadership, made great strides in establishing the platform for governmental reform. Many documents were prepared, position papers written and numerous consultations were held throughout the country, bringing the discussions to the people—the tribal chiefs and their people, students, political leaders, civil servants, scholars and media people.In the end, the platform was created for what the experts call “the devolution of power,” meaning the transfer of power from the central government to the people at the local level.The devolution process began this week in Gbarnga, the Bong County capital where many of the preparatory consultations had been held over the years. During three days of discussions, which President Sirleaf kicked off on Wednesday, coordination in the delivery of services began for the devolution of power at the local level. This will engender (bring about) greater participation of the people and cost effective operations. Vehicle registry at the local (county) level will be one of the key operatives here. This means that vehicle owners, whether commercial, corporate, concession or individual, will not need to come all the way to Monrovia to have their vehicles registered and to receive license documents and plates. Everything will be done at the county level in the various counties. The postal service will also be decentralized. The county postal service will have to plant post offices in all the cities, towns and villages. This means that when all is organized at the local level, people will no longer need to come all the way to Monrovia to send or receive mail. Another major step in this devolution is the establishing of school boards in each county. These school boards will determine school policies at the local level as well as the personnel—such as District Education Officers and elementary, junior and senior high principals and other personnel. Parent-Teacher Associations will also be coordinated.Then there will be the local registration of marriages, indeed a history-making development. Since 1847 and the founding of the Republic, no regular weddings have taken place in Liberia without the couples first coming to Monrovia to obtain their licenses from the Registrar of Marriages. It may take time for Directors of Marriage Registrations to be appointed in the counties; and perhaps more time to set up their offices. But once these are done, there would be no need for couples to travel all the way to Monrovia to obtain their licenses for marriage.All of this is at the initial stage of devolution.A most important part of this devolution process will be the passage by the National Legislature of the Local Government Act, which will formalize the restructuring and re-districting of townships and cities. This Act will also lay the framework for the election of district commissioners, city mayors and county superintendents, all of whom have, until now, been appointed by the President. The Bill for this Act is expected to be submitted by the President to the Legislature by June 16 this year. Once the bill is passed, the many constitutional issues embedded in the Act will be submitted for a constitutional referendum, which may hopefully be conducted in 2016 or 2017, before the presidential and general elections.That referendum will be earthshaking, for the Liberian electorate’s approval of the constitutional amendments will for the first time strip power, for example the appointment of many local government officials, from the presidency and hand it over to the Liberian people.All of this will be done under Ellen’s watch which, if all goes well, will no doubt constitute one of the cornerstones of her legacy—the devolution of real power from the Liberian President to the Liberian people. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
It was the fourth time this season City have won a league game with a goal in the 87th minute or later following similar successes against West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Tottenham and Mancini joked that the stress of his team’s performances may yet take their toll.“I’m very happy but we’ve had a lot of games like today,” Mancini said. “My heart is not strong enough to take it!“That win could probably be the difference come the end of the season. I hope so.“Our attitude is good. We kept our concentration until the very end. We wanted to win this game and we kept going until the very last second.“This game is important but when you play well, like we did in the first half, if you have a chance to score, you must score. This can change a difficult game.”City enjoyed all the possession against Brian McDermott’s Reading without creating too many clear-cut chances and, while this may not have been a vintage performance by his team, Mancini is happy with the attitude and character being displayed by his side as they end a year in which they were crowned champions.“We have improved a lot and we want to try until the very end,” added Mancini. “Our attitude is strong. Sometimes you can win these games, sometimes you cannot.“I think we deserved to win this but when you are in the last two or three minutes of extra time, it can be difficult.“If you don’t score in the first half, when we had a lot of chances to score, then you make it difficult.“They played very well and defended for 90 minutes with men behind the ball but in the end we only needed one chance and I’m happy for the victory because without it, it was a problem.”Mancini also feels that there will be more games such as this for the champions in the second half of the season after his players failed to heed his warning that Reading would prove difficult opposition.“I told the guys before the game that Reading might have conceded a lot of goals the last few games but they are playing well,” said Mancini.“I told them it would be a difficult game and I think they will find more games like this between now and the end of the season.”McDermott was left to bemoan his luck once more after seeing Barry climb over defender Nicky Shorey to head in the winner.Mancini and City claimed there was nothing wrong with Barry’s effort, although Reading strongly disagreed.McDermott and the Royals also thought they should have had a 75th minute penalty when Matija Nastastic might have handled in a move which also saw Jay Tabb apparently fouled by City debutant Karim Rekik.“It was an absolute joke. We’ve had that a few times this season,” said McDermott.“I said to the referee at the end, he’ll be gutted he missed that. The ref said he hung in the air but you can hang in the air all day if you’re hanging on somebody’s back! It was an absolute certainty.“And he knocked Tabb out of the way, we should have had a penalty. We’ve had a few of those recently but I just have to look at the positives.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, December 23- Roberto Mancini admits Manchester City’s bid to catch Premier League leaders Manchester United may prove a heart-stopping affair after the champions’ dramatic 1-0 win against Reading.Gareth Barry finished off bottom club Reading with a controversial headed winner in the 93rd minute at Eastlands on Saturday to move City within three points of United ahead of their rivals’ trip to Swansea on Sunday.
Iker Casillas did have to face a penalty in the 40th minute after Ramos was harshly judged to have pushed Cruz’s Argentine striker Mariano Pavone, but the veteran Spain stopper was equal to Gerardo Torrado’s weak spot-kick.With FIFA and UEFA bosses Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini in the crowd, Ramos proved in the 15th minute what a lethal header of the ball he is, taking advantage of a mistimed run by goalkeeper Jose Corona to open Madrid’s account from a trademark Toni Kroos cross.French centre-forward Benzema showed his astonishing speed in the 36th minute to pounce on Daniel Carvajal’s cross before the defence had even flinched to make it 2-0 after 36 minutes.Cristiano Ronaldo provided the ammunition for the next two. Weaving unchallenged down the left-wing Ronaldo provided an inch perfect delivery that Bale nodded home totally unmarked in the 50th minute.The Portuguese icon who was cheered every time he got the ball, then teed up the impressive Isco, who weaved past two defenders before unleashing a precise shot into the bottom corner in the 72nd.The World Player of the Year Ronaldo had come close to opening the scores in the second minute, and also sent a couple of free-kicks fizzing narrowly wide, but the man who has scored 25 league goals in 15 games this season was unable to score here.Luis Fernando Tena’s North American champions had struggled to beat Western Sydney Wanderers to make the semis and rarely troubled Carlo Ancelotti’s almost full strength side.New Zealanders Aukland City take on South American champions San Lorenzo of Argentina on Wednesday to see who will meet Madrid in the final on December 20th, when Real should also welcome back Colombia’s World Cup star James Rodriguez, who missed Tuesday’s game with a calf strain.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000MARRAKECH, December 17- European champions Real Madrid crushed Cruz Azul 4-0 to cruise into the Club World Cup final on Tuesday, totally outclassing their Mexican rivals.Goals from Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Garreth Bale and Isco saw Madrid record a 21st consecutive win in this semi-final at a packed and noisy Grand Stade de Marrakech, scene of last year’s final where Bayern Munich beat Raja Casablanca 2-0.
0Shares0000Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring for Man United against ArsenalLONDON, February 28 – Teenage sensation Marcus Rashford took his tally to four goals in two games as Manchester United compromised Arsenal’s Premier League title bid with a rousing 3-2 victory on Sunday.The 18-year-old, who had scored twice on his debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday, also set up a goal for Ander Herrera as Louis van Gaal’s side closed to within three points of the Champions League places. Arsenal, who scored through Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil, were left five points below leaders Leicester City, while Tottenham Hotspur moved three points above them by coming from behind to beat Swansea City 2-1.At Old Trafford, the extent of United’s injury problems was laid bare by a starting XI that saw midfielder Michael Carrick line up at centre-back, while Manchester-born starlet Rashford led the line in the absence of injury victims Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial.Arsenal, who made three changes from their 2-0 Champions League defeat by Barcelona, created the first chance, Ozil freeing Nacho Monreal for a shot that the fit-again David de Gea raced out to block, but it was the hosts who drew first blood in the 29th minute.Gabriel, brought in for Per Mertesacker, failed to make proper contact as he attempted to clear Guillermo Varela’s inviting right-wing cross and Rashford nervelessly placed the loose ball past Petr Cech.The United faithful rose to acclaim their new hero and they were off their feet again less than three minutes later when Rashford met Jesse Lingard’s cross with a well-directed downward header.Rashford became the third-youngest player to score a Premier League goal for United, after Federico Macheda and Welbeck, and the latter returned to haunt his former club by reducing the arrears.In a repeat of the formula that had yielded a last-gasp winner against Leicester two weeks ago, Ozil chipped a free-kick into the box and Welbeck stooped to head home. It was the German’s 18th assist of the campaign.– Van Gaal tumble –United lost Marcos Rojo to an apparent ankle injury early in the first half, which saw 18-year-old Dutch defender Tim Fosu-Mensah come on for his club debut.Wenger sent on Olivier Giroud for the ineffective Theo Walcott in the 63rd minute, but two minutes later United extended their lead.Rashford rolled the ball into the path of Herrera, whose first-time curler from outside the box was deflected past Cech by the flying Laurent Koscielny.Ozil gave Arsenal hope with 21 minutes left, following in to volley home after De Gea had parried from Welbeck.But the hosts held firm and Van Gaal had the home fans roaring in their seats as he mimicked a dive to fourth official Mike Dean on the touchline in protest at what he felt was a piece of simulation by an Arsenal player.United are now three points below fourth-place Manchester City, who were due to face Liverpool in the League Cup final at Wembley later in the day.Tottenham, who began the day level on points with Arsenal, fell behind in the 19th minute at home to Swansea when Alberto Paloschi seized on Angel Rangel’s deflected shot to score.But Nacer Chadli turned in Kyle Walker’s cross to equalise in the 70th minute and Danny Rose completed the comeback seven minutes later when he drilled home from distance following a corner.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
1 Leonardo Ulloa has not started a single game for Leicester this season Leicester striker Leonardo Ulloa is prepared to leave the club with interest mounting from China. The 30-year-old has been forced to accept a bit-part role and is desperate for more playing time. The Foxes would like to keep their former record signing but understand if Ulloa is unhappy at the King Power Stadium they would consider selling him in January.It is understood there is interest in Ulloa from China which would change the dynamic of any transfer chase with Super League clubs able to offer huge fees and wages.Shandong Luneng pay Graziano Pelle a reported £13.6million per year after signing him from Southampton for £12million in the summer.Swansea had a bid rejected for Ulloa in the summer and Sunderland were interested while West Brom are also monitoring the current situation and Ulloa has options in Spain.He is a popular figure at the club and remains committed while a Leicester player but Press Association Sport understands he has struggled with his lack of game time over the last 12 months. The £8million buy from Brighton in 2014 is eager to remain match fit for any January move and is open to all options but believes he has proved himself in the Premier League.He said: “I want to play always. If I don’t have minutes here I need to look for another team. It is difficult for me, the decision.“I am waiting for the window and waiting for the team and waiting for the manager. I want to speak to him and after we’ll make a decision for the club, for the team and for me also.“I have a contract here and I need to think a lot about my situation and after that we need to make the decision together.”Ulloa, who has 19 goals in 85 games for the club – just 42 of them starts, was a half-time substitute in Wednesday’s 5-0 Champions League defeat at Porto with Leicester having already qualified from Group G. He has not started this season, making 13 substitute appearances, after scoring six goals in 33 games last term to help the Foxes win a shock title but has been relegated to the bench after the big money arrivals of Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa.“It is the decision of the manager, we bought some strikers and now the manager it is his decision to play with the other strikers,” he said. “Yes, it is strange for me because last season I had good minutes and some games and now it is more difficult.”
“Like everyone said going into the game, Kilmarnock have been outstanding in the work Steve (Clarke) has done with them, especially in terms of how compact they are.“How we played against that was near on perfect in terms of our positioning in between their lines and when we got on the other side the quality to cross it and finish was exceptional.“I’m so happy with the performance.”Rodgers then insisted there is no room for sentimentality after veteran skipper Scott Brown was dropped to the bench after starting against Motherwell in midweek. Brendan Rodgers hailed a “near on perfect” Celtic performance as the champions thumped Kilmarnock 5-1 to return to the top of the Premiership.Steve Clarke’s side travelled to Celtic Park on top spot goals from winger James Forrest, striker Odsonne Edouard, captain Mikael Lustig and midfielder Ryan Christie had the home side in a commanding interval lead.Half-time substitute Eamonn Brophy reduced the deficit with a penalty soon after the break but Forrest grabbed his second as the Hoops moved two points clear of Killie – although Rangers have the chance to go top with a high-scoring win at Dundee on Sunday.“It was a brilliant team performance, ” said Rodgers, who is confident that left-back Kieran Tierney, who missed the game with a groin issue, will be fit for the crunch Europa League group game with Salzburg on Thursday night where the Hoops’ future in the competition will be decided. Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie have become regulars in the midfield in recent weeks and Brown has lost his automatic place after recently returning from injury.The Northern Irishman was offering his 33-year-old midfielder, who took over from Christie on 77 minutes, little succour ahead of the visit of Salzburg.He said: “I have compassion for players, especially for ones who have done amazingly for me, but what I don’t have is sentimentality.“We don’t rely on 11 players, we need more than that.“It is clear for everyone, the level and fluency of the team and how they are playing.“I have that compassion for guys that have done well for me but my job is to pick a team to win games and win titles and those two (Christie and McGregor) along with Tom Rogic have been exceptional.“I know what Scott Brown can do and what Olivier Ntcham can do so we will pick a team to play well and hopefully get a result.”Killie boss Clarke noted the differences in resources between the two clubs.He said: “Celtic were quicker than us, they looked a little bit more alert right from the off, probably something to do with the fact that they had seven fresh players and we are going to the well with the same players.“It was difficult for my back four today. My two full-backs (Stephen O’Donnell and Greg Taylor) looked a little bit jaded, both played into the middle of June with Scotland teams.“Stuart Findlay dragged himself off the treatment table with no training just to help the team – so thanks to Stuart for that – and I asked Scott Boyd when was the last time he played three times in a week and he couldn’t tell me. That’s how long ago it was.“That made it difficult for us but these games, Rangers away, Celtic away, don’t define our season. That is against teams of similar stature as Kilmarnock.”
The SpuntaG2 potato, which is currentlyundergoing genetic modification inSouth Africa to make it pest-resistant.(Image: Michigan State University) The bane of many a farmer around theworld – the potato tuber moth. (Image:UN Food and Agriculture Organisation) Crops in the field and particularly instorage are vulnerable to attacks by thedestructive potato tuber moth.(Image: Wikimedia)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa’s Agricultural Research Council (ARC), in collaboration with Michigan State University in the US, has developed a potato variety that is resistant to one of the industry’s biggest threats, the potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella Zeller).Known as SpuntaG2, the potato is currently before the Executive Council for Genetically Modified Organisms, which consists of members from six different national departments, including Agriculture; Science and Technology; Environmental Affairs and Tourism; Health; Labour; and Trade and Industry. Under the Genetically Modified Organisms Act of 1997, the committee is expected to take a number of months to decide whether SpuntaG2 can enter the South African market.Should approval for general release be granted, the ARC will initiate trials with farmers under unconfined conditions, which will in turn lead to certification and labelling ahead of the release of the enhanced potato variety.SpuntaG2 is Africa’s first locally developed genetically modified (GM) potato. Because the project is publicly funded under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture and the ARC, SpuntaG2 seeds will not be sold at a premium but will be readily accessible to small-scale farmers, who suffer most from pest outbreaks as they cannot afford the necessary chemical measures to control the pests.If approval is obtained from the authorities and farmers, the ARC plans to transfer the technology to other varieties of potatoes.Natural resistanceDevelopment of the SpuntaG2 began in 2002 under the ARC’s potato breeding programme, which is partially funded by the US Agency for International Development. Scientists introduced the (Bt)-cry1Ia1 gene from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into the potato variety Spunta to produce a potato with a high resistance to the tuber moth.B. thuringiensis acts by producing proteins that paralyse the digestive system of susceptible insects. These insects stop feeding and eventually die of starvation. Although the organism’s unique insecticidal properties were first discovered in 1911, it was not commercially available until the 1950s. The first company to produce a genetically engineered plant incorporating B. thuringiensis was Belgium-based Plant Genetic Systems, which developed an insect-resistant strain of tobacco in 1985.Six years of controlled testing in a number of potato growing areas in South Africa have shown that SpuntaG2 controls the potato moth without affecting other organisms and without having to resort to pesticides. According to the ARC, the variety is as safe to grow and eat as other potatoes, a claim that will soon be verified by the Council for Genetically Modified Organisms.However, a statement and petition released by the African Centre for Biosafety expresses the centre’s and a number of other stakeholders’ opposition to SpuntaG2, and urges the council to reject the ARC’s application for approval.The centre cites numerous reasons for its stance, among them the claim that the US Agency for International Development has a hidden agenda to promote US corporate interests in Africa; the fact that much of South Africa’s potato crop is exported to other countries in Southern Africa which do not allow the import of genetically modified food; and cites health concerns as there are records of some consumers reacting badly to foods modified with B. thuringiensis genes.Year of the PotatoThe United Nations has declared 2008 as the International Year of the Potato. The plant was first cultivated some 7 000 years ago in the Lake Titicaca region of Peru, in the Andes mountains 3 800m above sea level, where inhabitants began domesticating wild potato plants that grew around the lake.Besides wheat, maize and rice, the cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of the world’s major food crops and a staple for millions of people across the globe. It belongs to the Solanaceae, or nightshade family of flowering plants, and shares the genus Solanum with at least 1 000 other species, including tomato and eggplant.Farmers in developing countries are particularly hard hit by the potato tuber moth, especially as crops often lie in storage to be eaten at a later stage or for future planting – this makes them more susceptible to tuber moth attacks. The moth can completely devastate a crop in storage or vast areas of crops on the land. Commercial potato growers are not as badly off because they have more sophisticated storage facilities and their potatoes are processed quickly.Potato tuber moths lay eggs on the plant surface and their larvae burrow into the potatoes, causing immense damage. SpuntaG2 is completely resistant to the destructive pest on the land and under storage conditions. Armed with this extra method of tuber moth control, potato farmers can look forward to reduced costs and a healthier environment, says the ARC.In Africa, Egypt is the top potato-producing nation, with South Africa sharing second place along with Algeria and Malawi, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at email@example.com.Useful linksAgricultural Research FoundationDepartment of AgriculturePotatoes South AfricaAfrican Centre for BiosafetyPotato Grower MagazineInternational Year of the PotatoWorld Potato CongressBacillus thuringiensis